May 2018 Southern MD Civil War Round Table Meeting

May 8, 2018

The Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce that its next meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at 7:00pm at the College of Southern Maryland’s Center for Business and Industry, Chaney Enterprises Conference Center, Room BI-113, at 8730 Mitchell Road in La Plata, MD.

Guest Speaker:  Karen Needles


As we bring a close to our sixth (6th) year and look ahead to year # 7 and beyond, the future is very much on our minds.  In that vein, we are happy to welcome Ms. Karen Needles as she introduces us to the Lincoln Archives Digital Project.

Karen Needles | LinkedIn

Launched by Ms. Needles in March 2002, the Lincoln Archives Digital Project seeks to shift the paradigm of how presidential projects are done.  More than just an autograph collection, which does not provide context for all of the  documents signed by President Lincoln, the Lincoln Archives Digital Project is working to digitize all executive, legislative, judicial and military federal records pertaining to Abraham Lincoln.  Beginning with every document housed within the National Archives dated from March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865, the project has broadened its boundaries to include letters written to President-Elect Lincoln from those seeking federal employment and pushed out to include documents about the assassination, the capture of David Herold and death of John Wilkes Booth, the capture, trial and execution of the other conspirators, the capture and imprisonment of Jefferson Davis, the trial of Henry Wirz and the trial of John Surratt.  With the millions upon millions of records, photographs and other scholarship, the process of digitization seeks not to replace research rooms and archivists, but to provide greater access to those who cannot physically come to the National Archives, due to time and/or financial constraints.  Ms. Needles will describe for us how utilizing technology will allow anyone to find the Civil War records they desire in a matter of moments, as opposed to the lifetime of physical searching done in the past.

Digital illustration of Abraham Lincoln: patriotic palette

Karen Needles is a veteran of the United States Air Force, a former history teacher and a former consultant with IBM, Discovery Channel and Turner Learning and Cable in the Classroom.  She has also worked as an Education Resource Specialist at the Library of Congress from 1999 – 2002, before launching the Lincoln Archives Digital Project.  While at the Library of Congress, she trained teachers to use primary sources from the American Memory Collections.  She has also provided research assistance on the following books; “Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy” by Karen Abbott, as well as her upcoming book about bootlegger George Remus. She also lists “The Eloquent President” and “A. Lincoln“, by Ron White, Jr., “Manhunt” by James Swanson; and his upcoming sequel on the capture of Jefferson Davis.  Finally she has worked with Ron Soodalter on “Hanging Captain Gordon” and with James Conway on his book, “Lincoln’s White House“.

Please come out and join us as we celebrate 6 years of the Southern Maryland Civil War Round Table and look forward into the foreseeable future with Karen Needles.  Attendance is free, but membership is recommended. For more information, please call 443-975-9142 or email at